Remarkable quality improvement of as-grown monolayer MoS2 by sulfur vapor pretreatment of SiO2/Si substrates†
Monolayer MoS2 is a direct bandgap semiconductor which is believed to be one of the most promising candidates for optoelectronic devices. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the most popular method to synthesize monolayer MoS2 with a large area. However, many defects are always found in monolayer MoS2 grown by CVD, such as sulfur vacancies, which severely degrade the performance of devices. This work demonstrates a concise and effective method for direct growth of high quality monolayer MoS2 by using SiO2/Si substrates pretreated with sulfur vapor. The MoS2 monolayer obtained using this method shows about 20 times PL intensity enhancement and a much narrower PL peak width than that grown on untreated substrates. Detailed characterization studies reveal that MoS2 grown on sulfur vapor pretreated SiO2/Si substrates has a much lower density of sulfur vacancies. The synthesis of monolayer MoS2 with high optical quality and low defect concentration is critical for both fundamental physics studies and potential practical device applications in the atomically thin limit.